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One woman still looking for answers about the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is Pat Smith. Her son Sean Smith, a State Department information officer, was one of four Americans killed during the attack.
"I blame her," said Smith, referring to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"That's her department, she's supposed to be on top of it, and yet she claims that she knows nothing, it wasn't told to her," said Smith. "Who's running the place?"
Clinton said in October that she is responsible for the attack. In January she testified before Congress, and in a heated exchange with Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said the focus should be on preventing another such tragedy.
"With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided they'd go kill some Americans?" she said. "What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again."
Smith traveled to Washington to attend the American Foreign Service Association's memorial plaque ceremony at the State Department on Friday. She is staying to attend Wednesday's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the events before, during and after the Benghazi attack.
Smith said she doubts the testimonies at Wednesday's hearing will provide her with the closure she said she needs.
"I'm going to listen to them, I don't know if they can give me answers," said Smith. "I don't know if they'll be able to tell me anything."
"I cry every night, I don't sleep at night," said Smith. "I need answers."
Specifically, Smith wants to know why the Benghazi consulate was left so vulnerable that night.
"Why was there no security for him, when they're supposed to have security? And the security that they did have was called back?" asked Smith. "Things do not add up and I'm just told lies."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said last week that Benghazi happened a long time ago. Eight months ago, in fact. Which begs the question, for Smith, "Why don't they have answers by now?"
Shortly after the attack, President Obama, then-Secretary of State Clinton, and then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta reached out to Smith. She said a clerk also called her to give her the timeline of events in Benghazi. But Smith said she has had no further contact from the administration.
"Since then all they have told me is I am not part of the immediate family so they don't want to tell me anything," said Smith. Sean Smith is survived by his wife, Heather, and two young children.
Smith said the administration is afraid to speak with her because of her blunt line of questioning.
"I might say something like, 'Who is at fault, and why are they covering it up?' And they are covering it up because I haven't heard any answers," said Smith.
She said she asked administration officials, in person, to tell her what happened.
"Whisper in my ear if it's classified, and I won't tell anybody," said Smith. "But at least it will put things to rest for me."
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The Lead with Jake Tapper draws not only on Tapper’s deep knowledge of politics and national issues, but also seeks to examine and advance stories across a wide range of topics that demonstrate his own curiosities and interests. Compelling headlines come from around the country and the globe, from politics to money, sports to popular culture, based on news drivers of the day.
The Lead with Jake Tapper airs weekdays at 4 p.m. ET.
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